STATE OF THE NATION
I recently booked a trip to the Northern Territory for a few days to relax but when Melbourne had an outbreak, the NT shut its border. I am fully vaccinated and my wife would have been by the time we left. Is it appropriate for the NT to close the borders? Is the statism in Australia too much now? The whole point of having a vaccine is to protect yourself and others and to be able to freely move about. What am I missing on why the borders are still shut?
Anuj Haribhakti, Clyde North VIC
Hey George Fishlock (Traveller Letters, May 29) we saw the magnificent Big Stick Shed on Heather Ewart's Back Roads programme recently on ABC TV, when she visited Victoria's Wimmera region and Murtoa. A truly amazing structure. We intend visiting this place when we next go to Victoria ad thank you for reminding us there was a volunteer tour guide explaining the history of this place.
John Anandarajah, West Ryde, NSW
PINE OF THE TIMES
Anthony Dennis' article on Norfolk Island (Traveller, May 22) came just after I returned from eight memorable days there in a group of 20 on a garden tour with Botanica, led by the estimable Judy Horton. The Islanders were welcoming and informative (two of our bus drivers were named John Christian), the scenery diverse and superb, weather balmy, food delicious and although I had a key to my cabin, I never locked the door. I didn't see anyone smoking and there are no pubs. Norfolk is ideal for a family holiday and I would happily return.
Jennifer Dewar, Double Bay, NSW
ON THE RAILS
Tim Richard's story on the three big journeys by train in New Zealand (Traveller, May 29) brought back memories of the journey my wife and I did in 2010-2011. We travelled on each of these trains as part of an organised tour with AAT Kings and it was a great experience. What stunned me was the black sand beaches, the colour of the water in the rivers and looking out at snow-capped mountains knowing it was summer, something rarely witnessed in Australia. To those journeys I would add the Taieri Gorge Railway, a tourist train from Dunedin's stunning railway station.
Ian Rosel, Wantirna Vic
After my wife and I checked into the Langham Hotel Melbourne for an anniversary celebration, my doctor called to advise me to go straight to hospital (all back on track now). Despite having made ourselves comfortable in the room for half-an-hour with a cup of tea before checking out again, the wonderful Langham staff refunded everything in full. A huge thank you to Langham in a time of distress.
Craig Reichenbach, Briar Hill, VIC
STANS BY ME
Unlike many of your correspondents who have had difficulty regarding refunds/credits with overseas tours, our own experiences with Kalpak Travel have been entirely satisfactory. We booked and paid a deposit in 2019 for a tour of part of the Silk Road in the Stans of Central Asia. When COVID necessitated a cancellation, we contacted Lucca Lasser of Kalpak Travel regarding a refund. He advised that while this was possible, if he retained the deposit, we could re-book at a later date at the original price. We accepted this offer at the time. In May 2021, because of the continued uncertainty of overseas travel,we requested a refund which we received within a week. If we have the opportunity to re-book travel in Central Asia in the future, it will be with Kalpak, because of our wonderful experiences dealing with Lucca.
Peter Scriven, Bateau Bay, NSW
As we endure our fourth lockdown in greater Melbourne, I have a good news story. This morning I received notification from Luxury Escapes that our holiday for overseas travel last June would be refunded in full in the form of a credit voucher to be used over the next 18 months. The credit does not have to be used in one transaction and can be used towards multiple purchases. Thank you, Luxury Escapes, for keeping us in the loop throughout and organising this credit.
Carol Coghlan, Camberwell, VIC
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